Possible Sentences Vocab Strategy

Possible Sentences Vocab Strategy

Grades: 3-5
Strands: Civics/Government, Geography, Economics, History

Why: (Purpose)

  • Deep Learning
    • Effective communication
    • Self-directed learning
    • Develops a connection to text
  • Higher Student Achievement
    • Opportunity for feedback
    • Vocabulary instruction that supports comprehension
  • Student Engagement
    • Allows for an exchange of predictions
    • Consensus established for the structure of informational texts
  • Strategic Planning
    • Pre-teaching vocabulary allows students to establish the meanings of academic terminology.
    • Understanding meanings provides support for comprehension of terms in context of the text.
    • Students become authors of sentences that are appropriate for the genre.

What: (Description of the Strategy)

Possible Sentences is a pre-reading strategy that intertwines an opportunity to activate prior knowledge and pre-teach academic vocabulary. This strategy encourages students to make connections between word meaning and sentence structure in informational texts.

By selecting 8-10 words that are a mixture of those previously studied and new terms, students identify connections between them. The goal is for students to create “possible” sentences that may be found in their upcoming reading assignment.

How: (How to set up the Strategy)

  • Select 8-10 terms from a unit of study.
  • Provide a space for displaying terms and student-constructed sentences.
  • Discuss what students know about the terms.
  • Clarify misconceptions, and provide definitions to new terms.

Digital Application of the Strategy:

  1. Using a digital whiteboard, display the 8-10 terms for students to view, think about, and discuss. Instruct students to brainstorm what the terms have in common.
  2. Ask them to consider the connections between the words and hypothesize what topic will be featured in the informational text.
  3. Students will select at least two words and construct a sentence using the word bank. Their goal is to create a sentence that they may possibly find in the upcoming article.
  4. After the sentences are posted to the digital whiteboard, articles can be read in a whole group or independently.
  5. Once the selection has been read, students will identify sentences from the activity that accurately represent the article.

Face-to-Face Application of the Strategy:

  1. Use word wall cards for students to view as a word bank for this strategy.
    Engage the students in a whole group or partner discussion about the meanings of the 8-10 selected terms.
  2. Encourage students to identify the connections the terms in the word bank have to each other. What will the focus of this unit be?
  3. Give students two to three minutes to create one sentence, using at least two of the words discussed. Their sentences may be shared on index cards or written on the board. Sentences should be displayed in a location that all students can view.
  4. Read the article(s) associated with the word bank. Lead students in a discussion to sort and identify the possible student-created sentences.

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